Read Ezekiel 33 - 36
In Today's Reading:
Jerusalem's destruction; justice of God's dealing; reproof of the false shepherds; destruction of Edom; restoration of Israel foretold
God addressed Ezekiel as a watchman to the house of Israel; and said to Him: Therefore you shall hear the Word at My mouth, and warn them (for) Me (Ezekiel 33:7). The Israelites who remained in Jerusalem, as well as the captives in Babylon, disregarded Ezekiel's warnings that God would destroy Jerusalem if they refused to repent of their sinful ways. But, the Jews in Babylon complained that the death of their kindred in Jerusalem and the destruction of their homeland were inconsistent with the promise of God's Covenant. Then the Lord said: Your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal (right): but. . . . When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity (sin), he shall . . . die. . . . But if the wicked turn from his wickedness . . . he shall live (33:17-19).
When the inevitable judgment had taken place as foretold by Ezekiel, the Lord told him to say: You . . . lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall you possess the land? . . . you work abomination (do detestable sins) . . . As I live, surely they . . . shall fall by the sword, and . . . die of the pestilence. For I will lay the land most desolate. . . . they shall know that I am the LORD (33:25-29). This was all fulfilled as prophesied by Ezekiel on the day of his wife's death (24:18,25-26) And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity . . . one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, The city is smitten (33:21).
Ezekiel proclaimed that holy living was the Israelites' responsibility in their covenant relationship with God. This was rejected by those unwilling to forsake their sins. Times have not changed; living a godly life is equally unpopular today with many professing Christians who love what the world can offer for the gratification of their earthly nature (I John 2:15-17). Like the Israelites, many people today talk about the love of God while ignoring His command to act righteously. As you have yielded your members (body parts) servants to uncleanness and to iniquity to iniquity (sins leading to more sins); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness to holiness (sanctification). . . . for the end of those things (sin) is death (Romans 6:19,21).
As the Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:23) Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep (John 10:14).
34:14 fat = rich, the best; 34:27 served themselves of them = enslaved them; 36:3 an infamy of = slandered by.
Pray for BP Staff: Karen Hawkins · Government Officials: Rep. Stephanie Jones (OH), Rep. James Oberstar (MN), Sen. John Sununu (NH), and Rep. Albert Wynn (MD) · Country: Rwanda (8 million) in central Africa · Major languages: Kinyarwanda and French · Religious freedom · 40% Roman Catholic; 21% Protestant; 14% belief in false gods, ancestor worship, and spirit-possession cults; 9% Muslim
Prayer Suggestion: Intercede fervently in prayer for others (James 5:16).
Optional Reading: Revelation 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 12:19